[vlc-devel] RFC: more suited copyright message

Rémi Denis-Courmont courmisch at via.ecp.fr
Thu Jul 7 18:20:23 CEST 2005

	Hello everyone,

Most source code files in the VLC repository have a copyright mention 
that reads something like :
"Copyright (C) xxxx-yyyy VideoLAN"

Sometimes, it's also the VideoLAN team. I don't like this peremptory 
words because there is no such legal body as "VideoLAN". To make the 
situation worst, the VideoLAN trademark is not owned by us.

"VideoLAN" can namely refer to 3 different groups :

- The VideoLAN project is a student project at the ECP; it consists of a 
bunch of students and is renewed every year. While VLC has its roots 
there, it has been mostly developped by non-members and former members 
of that project since its release as an open-source software.

- The VideoLAN club is part of French non-profit Centrale Réseaux 
("VIA") and, as such, has its own bank account. In pratice, it consists 
of the same people as the VideoLAN project.

- The VideoLAN community, with all developpers, translators, testers, 
etc, but this cannot be "well" defined.

None of these is a legal entity anywhere, so I'm afraid none of these 
can legally own copyright (DISCLAIMER: IANAL) nor anything else that 
could be owned for that matter.

It is my understanding that VLC (and other VideoLAN software) are 
actually and hence copyrighted, not by "VideoLAN" but by Centrale 
Réseaux, and/or its various individual contributors.

So, I'd rather have copyright messages that read :
"Copyright (C) xxxx-yyyy VideoLAN (Centrale Réseaux) and its 
contributors" or something like that. I note that usually have a list 
of authors in source files, which is good to give "contributors" a 
meaning. Such a message would be both more accurate and meaningful.

If no one opposes the change, I'll probably sed all that. Anyone ?

Rémi Denis-Courmont
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